While the current Cheesepocalypse is a difficult time for our great nation, we are incredibly humbled and appreciative of the outpouring of love and support for the Liquid Gold of Velveeta. As you have likely seen or heard by now on social networks and major media outlets, there is currently limited availability of some Velveeta products in many stores nationwide. We want you to hear directly from us that it’s true we are experiencing a temporary scarcity of our nation’s most precious commodity: Liquid Gold. But please know that we are working tirelessly to get more Velveeta on store shelves as soon as possible and that this was in no way a “publicity stunt.” We always want Velveeta where it belongs in your hands, in your homes and in your stomachs.
This hysterical rant calls for some historical perspective. And few places have as much cheese history as Orange County, New York: Emil Frey, working for the Monroe Cheese Company, first developed Liederkranz, a variation on Limburger. He was eventually shipped off to Monroe’s second location:
The company opened a second factory in Covington, Pennsylvania, where it made mostly Swiss cheese. But many of the cheese wheels broke or were misshapen… [T]he broken bits were shipped back to Monroe, where Frey spent the next two years tinkering with them on his home stove. In 1918, he had his second big break. He discovered that mixing the broken wheels with other cheese byproducts created a smooth end-product with a velvety consistency. He named it Velveeta.
This brand spun off into the independent Velveeta Cheese Company, incorporated on Feb. 14, 1923.
Velveeta, in fact, was the last cheese-like substance to be manufactured in Monroe; its original parent company had decamped for Ohio in 1926, and the following year, Kraft acquired Velveeta.
Incidentally, Orange County was also the original home of Philadelphia Cream Cheese, created by Lawrence & Durland of Chester, New York.